Just for fun, he says get a job

That “economist” that mistermix linked to earlier is back to say that he meant unemployment benefits in general, not specifically those in North Dakota and Nevada. Then he whines about people saying mean things in the comments.

I don’t know the literature on how unemployment benefits affect employment-related migration either, I’ll admit, but it seems to me that you have to be an idiot to think that North Dakota is not a special case given its low population, general remoteness, and the importance of the (the highly cyclical) energy sector in its economy. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t bring up an unusual example, then bitch about how:

Wasn’t it clear I was seeking some actual studies (by which I mean peer reviewed, data-driven, analysis) on the general issue? Regular readers know how this blog works. It’s not about anecdotes and one-off examples. It’s about solid evidence.

The game Frakt seems to be playing is this: he wants to eliminate unemployment insurance so he finds a tiny, remote state with a low unemployment rate, does next-to-no investigation of why its unemployment rate is low, then tries to segue that into a general attack on how unemployment benefits interfere with the Galtian perfection of the free market. I hate to go here, but no wonder this guy boasts of a PhD then won’t even say where he got it.

But good enough for Sullivan work, obviously.








The Boomer Moynihan


Todd Purdom, the guy who so famously shivved McCain’s choice of Snomobile Snooki, has a new Vanity Fair article about “The Audacity of Nope“:

… He has gone from J.F.K. Democrat to Reagan Republican. From tavern owner’s son to packaging-and-plastics salesman and self-made millionaire. From hot-headed House freshman to a valued member of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s insurgent Republican team. After he lost that job, in the collapse of Gingrich’s reign, Boehner clawed his way back to power, building a reputation as a bipartisan deal-maker. In February 2006 he was elected the House majority leader—a job that suddenly turned into House minority leader when the G.O.P. lost Congress that fall. Ever since Obama took office, Boehner has been among the chief congressional architects of the Republicans’ “Hell, no!” strategy—their decision not to seek compromise but to attempt to block virtually all of the president’s major initiatives, from the economic-stimulus package to health-insurance overhaul to financial regulatory reform.
[…]
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John Boehner wasn’t born a Republican. He became one the same way that thousands of other working-class Catholic men of his generation did: through hard work and the absorption of the shifting cultural and political values that culminated in Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. He is the second-oldest of 12 children (his brother Bob is 362 days older), nine boys and three girls born over a 20-year period to Earl and Mary Ann Boehner. He grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Reading, in a house that initially had only two bedrooms. His parents slept on a foldout couch in the living room. Jerry Vanden Eynden, a childhood friend, recalls that his most vivid memory of the Boehner household is of cloth diapers drying everywhere—on a clothesline outside in summer, and in the basement in winter. Earl Boehner ran Andy’s Café, a shot-and-a-beer bar in nearby Carthage. It specialized in sandwiches and plate lunches for truck drivers and hourly workers from a nearby Procter & Gamble plant. John worked there from the time he was old enough to push a broom, eventually holding every job in the place: bottle sorter, busboy, waiter, and finally bartender, learning, as he put it a couple of years ago, “to deal with every jackass that walks in the door.” Boehner attended the Sts. Peter and Paul parochial school, and then Archbishop Moeller High School, an all-boys college-prep program run by Marianist brothers…
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Boehner served a brief stint in the Vietnam-era navy [ed: 8 weeks, according to Wikipedia], but was discharged because of his back problems. Working various part-time jobs, he put himself through Cincinnati’s Xavier University to become the first college graduate in his family in 1977. Soon after, he got a job working for Nucite Sales, a small company that sold injection-molded plastic products and packaging. The job involved plenty of schmoozing and long hours on the golf course, and when the owner died, Boehner bought the business from his widow. With his wife, Debbie, he moved into a classy community called Lakota Hills, where he ran for president of the homeowners’ association on a pledge to buy a golf course, and for the first time in his life he began paying attention to politics…
[…]
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Boehner is, in the end, a most unlikely candidate to lead any kind of revolution. He is a traditionalist, and an institutionalist, and, Lord knows, he is anything but a fresh face. He is the captive of forces more powerful than himself, and he has evidenced a form of Stockholm syndrome, which his captors may or may not find convincing. The pitiful reality of contemporary Washington is that institutional perspective is in such short supply that anyone with even a smidgen of it might pass for having qualities of statesmanship. If John Boehner is a statesman, he’s one who starts from an unenviable position: neither the leader his party may really want nor the kind his country most needs.

It’s worth reading the whole article. Purdom has proven his mastery at reading the currents below the surface of this week’s Master DC Narrative Chart, illuminating the channels through which his subjects have navigated… and the hidden shoals and snags lurking to wreck them.

Never having been a Republican, I had not previously been exposed to much of the Boehner bio-mythologizing: the blue-collar Catholic bhoyo, scrapping his way out of an oversized family of undersized resources, glad-handing his teary-eyed way from parochial-school scholarship scuffler to Glengarry Glen Ross HOA-running “achiever” to canny Macduff lurking behind the arras to resist the usurping Kenyan regicide.

When I was growing up in the Bronx in the 1960s, the recently deceased Daniel Patrick Moynihan was our contemporary version of Finn McCool — not a demi-god like JFK, but a warrior and a schemer for “his people” against the cruelties and indifference of powerful outside forces. Danny Pat, ex-longshoreman, despite being a good Democrat, never held his pride so dear that he wouldn’t compromise with The Enemy, from LBJ (it wasn’t just ivory-tower DFHs who suspected Lyndon of a hand in Kennedy’s assassination) to Tricky Dick and Jerry the Klutz. But Moynihan always took great pride in being a capital-I Intellectual, a philosopher-scholar standing behind this year’s President like Aristotle behind Alexander. Being educated, well-read, capable of defending the side in the UN, writing books that would actually be discussed, not merely sold as vanity-press quasi-religious icons for willful illiterates to display in evidence of their tribal fealty — such things were important to the ambitious blue-collar Catholics of Moynihan’s generation.

Reading the recent spate of Boehner bios, Orange John seems to be working a lot of the same tropes for the next generation, the Pig-in-the-Python cohort of which I am a back-end member… but “intellectual”, for the ambitious modern politico, is an identifier only slightly less to be avoided than “pedophile”. Boehner might possibly concede a resemblance to Ulysses, the “cunning man” famed for his skill at trickery, er, strategy. But not if the guy playing him in the movie were some Hollywood lefty-liberal like Clooney, of course. Bad optics. And today, it’s all optics, only optics.








Picking the Scab: Ginni Thomas

I would not normally link to the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog (aka “where they’ve stashed Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn, since it would be too embarrassing to fire them outright”) but Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite has an intriguing post explaining “Why Anita Hill Deserves an Apology“:

Women like Anita Hill who try to tell the truth about being sexually harassed all too often are disbelieved and even demonized. Hill testified, during the Senate confirmation hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, that Thomas had engaged in a consistent pattern of sexual harassment of her in the workplace…
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Anita Hill deserves an apology for having her life once again disrupted and being used by a right-wing activist in what seems yet another attempt by the Tea Party to drive their extremist agenda and move American history backwards.
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I think, therefore, this is not just about “publicity” but perhaps an early sign of another front opening on Supreme Court decisions, and other legal precedents, this time about laws that have secured equal rights for women in the workplace…
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So many women over the years have come to me in a pastoral context and told me about these patterns that constitute sexual harassment at work. They know it’s wrong, they even know it’s illegal, and they know they are being discriminated against on the basis of their sex. But even today many just want to keep silent because they are more afraid of what will happen if they speak up. The lesson of Anita Hill is not lost on them. Look at what happens to women who try to tell the truth? A few women dare to speak up and claim their rights to a workplace free of such discrimination, but many even today do not.
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How much harder will it be for them if the Tea Party sets its sights on trying to overturn these important precedents that establish the legal arguments that made sexual harassment illegal?

Ruth Marcus, WaPo columnist, lets her commitment to truth temporarily override her commitment to Right-Wing Conventional Wisdom, sandwiching the following paragraphs between an extended defense of “wifely” grudge-holding and a quick both-sides-must-be-equally-at-fault finish:

… Ginni Thomas is wrong about who should apologize to whom…
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Does anyone besides the two of them know the full truth about what happened between Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill when he was a Reagan administration official and she was a young lawyer on his staff? Perhaps not. But as I wrote when Clarence Thomas released his angry autobiography, the overwhelming weight of the evidence is on Hill’s side.
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She complained to friends at the time about his behavior, telling one, Susan Hoerchner, that Thomas, then the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, had “repeatedly asked her out . . . but wouldn’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer.” Another former EEOC employee, Angela Wright, described how Thomas pressured her to date him, showed up uninvited at her apartment and asked her breast size.
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Some of the strangest behavior that Hill cited — Thomas asking about a pubic hair on his Coke can, and his taste for extreme pornography — resonated with episodes from Thomas’s past. A college classmate, James Millet, recalled “an almost identical episode,” Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher report in their biography, “Supreme Discomfort.” Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson found two others who recalled a pubic hair-Coke can comment at the EEOC.
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What’s a wife to do with this uncomfortable information? Clarence Thomas has taken the road of angry denial and, unless she’s about to let her marriage unravel over it, the path of least resistance may be for Ginni to join him there.
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Why seek satisfaction from Hill now? One explanation might be that Ginni Thomas has recently found herself in the media cross-hairs over her role as head of a group dedicated to exposing the leftist “tyranny” of President Obama. Perhaps that has rekindled her unresolved feelings about Hill. Was it a coincidence that she made the call on the morning the New York Times ran a front-page story headlined, “Activism by Thomas’ Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues”?

And Dahlia Lithwick at Slate speculates “Why Ginni Thomas made that weird phone call to Anita Hill“:

… It’s also not clear why Ginni Thomas believes that re-arguing Thomas v. Hill 19 years later could possibly benefit Clarence Thomas. Yes, the Internet is buzzing today with claims that Prof. Hill, who never wanted to testify against Thomas in the first place and hasn’t sought out any of these Desperate Housewives-style battles, is a liar and always was one. But the Washington Post has already found a former girlfriend of Justice Thomas’ who claims that Hill’s account of Thomas’ behavior in the early 1980s is consistent with the Clarence Thomas she once dated. A new generation of Americans is being reminded of the fact that Hill took a polygraph test at the time of the hearings while Clarence Thomas did not. Anyone who ever read Strange Justice, by Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer, is recalling the exhaustive research they put into establishing that Anita Hill had been smeared…
Read more








You Weren’t Assassinated, You Just Made an Ass Out of Yourself on Tape

It takes some work being a dimmer bulb than the Wasilla Wingnut, but O’Donnell is up for the task:

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is asking voters to give her a second look. At a candidate forum sponsored by a group of local Republicans, O’Donnell blamed her campaign’s recent troubles on unfair coverage in the “liberal media.”

“I’ve put my name on the line. And I’ve taken a lot of hits … a lot of character assassination,” O’Donnell said.

All people are doing is showing videotapes of you talking.








This

1000 times this:

I think the frustration that supporters of the president have (at least it is for me) is that his critics give him credit for nothing. NOTHING.

He gets a health care reform bill passed that is sweeping in scope and more than anyone has done in decades. And the left-wing critics say “Not enough.”

He gets a stimulus bill passed that pretty much kept a massive recession from getting worse and all the left-wing critics said was “Not enough.”

He’s on the verge of getting DADT repealed through law as opposed to using a reversible executive order and all the left-wing critics say is “Not enough.”

He gives a speech that talks about peak oil, points out how government corruption played a role and begins to lay out the way forward towards an alternative energy future and all the left-wing critics say is “Not enough” while having orgasms to Rachael Maddow’s satisfying-but-completely unrealistic “Fake President” speech.

Never mind Lily Leadbetter, killing the F-22 (something BUSH couldn’t do), expanding SCHIP, credit card reform, tobacco regulation…but no, it’s not enough. It’s NEVER enough with some people.

There is legit criticism to be made when it comes to President Obama, especially in the civil rights arena. But to hear the WATBs on the left tell it, he hasn’t done a damn thing. And that is simply not true.

And when you point that out, you are hippie-punching or just an O-bot and not a critical thinker. And he managed to do all this without ANY help from the Republicans and minimal help from the Blue Dogs, all while dealing with a childish media (Is he smoking? Does he hate the womyn folks because he won’t shoot hoops with them? Is he angry enough?) and a left-flank that thinks teaming up with Grover Norquist and echoing Republican talking points is moving the fucking Overton Window.

You point out the fact that this is the most successful Democratic Presidency in my lifetime and all you hear is but, but but… He didn’t get single payer!

And now this thread will rapidly become populated with WATB telling me I’m just as in the tank for Obama as I was for Republicans and that I hate the left and that I’m showing my authoritarian Republican roots and, oh, forget it. You know the damned drill. If I were a tough manly man like Keith Olbermann, a fierce and independent thinker who alone has the insight, bravery and knowledge to criticize the President, I’d just pre-emptively shut this blog down because you just know some anonymous commenter is going to say something mean on the internet and break my heart.

All I know is that if Obama doesn’t stop the oil leak with his massive Kenyan penis and then give a rousing FDR/Trumanesque speech delivered using a grade 7.5 language level that gives Chris Matthews a blue-vein hard-on and then personally scrubs every drop of oil from the gulf without hurting BP’s profits and making sure every oil worker has a job, I’m out. I mean, come on. That isn’t asking too much, is it? And why don’t we have gay marriage and a cure for cancer? What a loser! If only he hadn’t turned off his progressive base, all this could happen. Ed Schultz told me so.

And he better wear a flag lapel pin while doing it.

*** Update ***

Here’s what we’re dealing with:

Obama gives a speech on energy, but can’t bring himself to say “climate change.”

Beyond parody.